PGO on May 6 attack: Charges pressed correctly, new evidence can lead to more charges

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem speaks at a press conference on August 3, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Prosecutor General’s Office (PG Office) has stated that charges have been raised against suspects in connection to terror attack against Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed on May 6 of last year in accordance with the regulations – underscoring the possibility of new charges should additional evidence surface.

In a statement released today, PG Office said that the evidence in connection to the case was acquired, analyzed and prepped for court filings by a team of police investigators and a team of prosecutors collaboratively.

 “Charges not being pressed against a particular suspect as of present is not basis that they will not be charged in the future should new evidence be later acquired. This office will decide whether to or not to prosecute suspects in connection to the case based on the evidence acquired during the course of investigation, whether they are in custody or not,” the statement read.

PG Office, in their statement, also stressed that Abbas Faiz, the Special Envoy appointed by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to oversee the investigation, has assured that the investigative procedure is compliant with the international best practices after close monitoring.

It was also noted that Abbas had raised no concerns regarding the investigative procedure.

Speaker Nasheed has strongly criticized the investigation and prosecution of suspects in connection to the case.

A tweet recently published from an account presumed to belong to Nasheed read that the investigation of the terror attack was significantly reliant on the confession of a suspect.  It was stressed in the tweet that this was the worst manner to conduct an investigation.

Nine suspects were charged in connection to the attack. However, only one, Adhuham Ahmed Rasheed, 26, who confessed to detonating the IED, was convicted. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison in December last year after he signed a plea deal with the state. 

The other eight defendants are: 

  • Mujaz Ahmed, Ma. Feyruge, K. Male’  
  • Thahmeen Ahmed, Folheyma, GA. Kondey  
  • Ali Haisham, Nooreege, N. Manadhoo  
  • Is’haq, M. Kudhehige, K. Male’  
  • Fahumy Ali, Hudhuruvaage, GA. Vilingili  
  • Mohamed Nazim, Asareege, AA. Maalhos 
  • Abdulla Ali Manik, Bahaaruge, HA. Molhadhoo  
  • Mohamed Thasleem, Alanaasige, HA. Hoarafushi 

An additional suspect arrested in the case – Ahmed Fathih, Dunfiniufaa, L. Gan – was released due to insufficient evidence. 

Likely in response to the tweet’s from Nasheed’s alleged pseudo account – PG Office, in today’s statement, stressed that the confession of Adhuham, who voluntarily pled guilty during the investigative stage, lines up with evidence acquired. It was also highlighted that both PG Office and the court had verified that the confession was not obtained under duress, in the absence of police.  

Apart from this, it was pointed out that PG Office had filed sufficient evidence at court to prove the charges raised against Adhuham, should he not have pled guilty as well.

They also noted that an abundance of evidence has been filed with the court for the cases against other suspects charged in connection to the terror attack apart from the confession statement including DNA evidence, physical evidence, scientific evidence, and expert testimonies among others.

A homemade remote-controlled IED was strapped to motorcycle parked nearby Nasheed’s residence, and was detonated at 08:27 pm on May 6, 2021, just as Nasheed exited his residence and went to get in his car. Nasheed was thrown to the ground and sustained multiple shrapnel wounds, while three members of his security detail and two bystanders sustained minor wounds. 

In a statement released by Nasheed’s family in conjunction with the one-year anniversary of the attack –they urged authorities to strengthen the investigation to find those who financed the attempt on his life. Concerns were also raised regarding the delay in the trials of the suspects.